Engineers focus on systems and how system components fit together. Engineers are often people who lead the way in understanding how to use finite resources to maximum advantage. But engineers must understand people as well as technology. Consequently, engineering draws upon a variety of different disciplines, from mathematics to psychology, communications to computer science, and production management to process control.
Currently, American businesses are expanding into the global market, and many leading industries own companies overseas. It is very important for engineering students to learn about different organizational structures and logistics, as well as cultural values and communication styles, in order to function effectively in the increasingly international work environment. Study abroad is one very exciting way to begin to discover new approaches to the study of engineering while enhancing your professional and personal skills.
As an engineering major, many study abroad options are available for you. From short-term, customized, faculty-led programs to full-year direct enrollment at a foreign university, there are plenty of opportunities to earn General Education credit, fulfill major requirements, or explore electives.
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Other exciting opportunities include language study, internships in which you’ll develop a multi-cultural perspective on engineering processes, and simply learning about other cultures and values through the time you spend overseas. In an ever-expanding global marketplace, employers are heavily weighing study abroad experience when considering applicants. Study abroad demonstrates initiative, independence, a tolerance for ambiguity, the ability to quickly adapt to changing environments, and maturity -- all desirable qualities for employers. An international experience is extremely valuable, as many companies and organizations are expanding overseas: in short, study abroad looks very impressive on a resume.
The transition from high school to college is a big one, so your initial year at the UI is best spent taking introductory engineering courses, beginning a language, or working on General Education Component requirements. However, study abroad can be a viable option as early as the summer between your first and second years.
This is an excellent time to go overseas, because many of the engineering courses offered first semester of sophomore year are available overseas. Of course, to take advantage of this “window,” you should begin exploring study abroad options during your first year of college and talk to your academic adviser about your desire to study abroad so that appropriate academic planning can occur.
Most juniors are in the middle of their Engineering major requirements, and finding equivalencies abroad can be challenging, though not impossible. Advance planning is the key. With early planning, “any time is right to study abroad.”
What goes for juniors goes for seniors. However, this can be a good time to finish up any outstanding area or period requirements and to complete electives.
Almost any summer is a good time to consider going abroad. It’s a great time to do one or two required classes for your major, complete some General Education Component requirements, learn a foreign language, or undertake an international internship, and taking some summer courses will lighten your load when you return to the UI in the fall. Summer is also a great time to undertake or overseas internships – which looks great on a resume.
General Education Component
Most study abroad locations will offer course work that will count towards Humanities and Social Sciences GEC requirements.
Core Engineering Courses
Many courses common to most majors during the sophomore year are available through study abroad, including:
- Differential Equations
- Materials Science
- Most math classes
- Major course work
Early planning is the key to successfully finding equivalencies for your major requirements on a study abroad program.The College of Engineering keeps a database of pre-approved study abroad course equivalencies which is being continuously updated as engineers seek transfer credit approval from study abroad.The list of recommended study abroad programs on this web site has been selected with that in mind.Classes offered by our partner universities will provide you with a perspective on your field that is unique to the country and culture where you are studying, and that will augment the perspectives you receive in the U.S. classroom.
Elective Focus Areas
Much like major course work described above, EFAs require early planning and careful selection of a study abroad program.
Electives are an excellent opportunity to earn Engineering credit.
The programs listed below were chosen because they offer either a variety of Engineering courses, or specialized internship options.
While we suggest you look at these highlighted programs first, feel free to browse the programs section of the Study Abroad website, explore an online directory of study abroad programs, and consult materials in the Study Abroad Resource Room.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s engineering programs strive to play an integral role in the further development of South Africa and the continent, while also contributing to global development. Within the College of Agriculture, Engineering and, Science, the Faculty of Engineering offers classes in Agricultural (Bioresources), Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering. In all seven of these programs, there is an emphasis on excellent teaching, research, and community outreach.
The Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at The University of Newcastle brings together engineering, architecture, building, surveying, industrial design and computer science. The Faculty has three Schools and more than a dozen sub-specialties and combined degree options. There are also many opportunities to join research groups or become part of a research centre.
The Schools and sub-specialties at Newcastle:
- School of Architecture and Built Environment
- Construction Management (Building)
- Industrial Design
- School of Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical Engineering
- Software Engineering
The University of Tasmania Faculty o Engineering, Science and Technology and specifically, the School of Engineering, offer a wide variety of classes as part of their BEng, BS, and BTechnologies degrees. The University of Tasmania School of Engineering website lists and provides details for all available courses.
Regents Semester in Ireland
The Faculty of Engineering at University College Cork is comprised of four departments. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers courses in structural engineering and construction, infrastructure and environmental engineering, environmental services in building, and informatic systems and engineering management. The Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the Department of Microelectronic Engineering work together to offer specialist modules in circuit design, signal processing, telecommunications, microelectronic engineering, control engineering, electrical and electronic power supply systems, optoelectronics/photonics and radio frequency electronics. The Department of Process and Chemical Engineering includes classes on pharmaceutical engineering, the food and bioprocessing industry, and supply chain engineering and management. The Faculty also has links to Applied Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Chemistry, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Geology, and Management and Marketing.
The United Kingdom
UK Exchange Programs
University of Birmingham Exchange
The University of Birmingham is a great place to study engineering. Their faculty believe that design is at the heart of the study of engineering, and so from year one, students design projects that they later present to their peers and professors, learning to integrate their theoretical work and problem-solving skills into real-life, marketable talents. Degrees and courses are offered in:
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
- Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
In addition, there are nearly forty specific degree options within these broad areas of study. Also, the University of Birmingham encourages students to try industrial placement (internships), language study, the Energy Engineering Theme, and their Business Management Minor.
Lancaster University Exchange
The Engineering Department at Lancaster University is a proponent of the “Conceive Design Implement Operate” (CDIO) Concept. It is a multidisciplinary hands-on approach to engineering education where students participate in projects and simulations, rather than traditional labs. The Department of Engineering also encourages students to spend a year interning in the industry, or to become involved in outsides projects such as Formula Student.
University of Hull Exchange
The University of Hull Department of Engineering specializes in innovative and rigorous courses that allow students to study the design, manufacture, and use of materials across all branches of engineering and technology, and as a result, the Department of Engineering has been ranked 4th out of all UK universities for General Engineering. Hull offers courses in computer aided engineering, computer systems engineering, design and technology, electronic engineering, electronic gaming systems, ICCT, mechanical engineering, mechanical and medical engineering, medical product design, product innovation, nanotechnology, and communications.
Regents Semester in Wales
The School of Engineering at the University of Wales-Swansea continually ranks amongst the top three schools in the UK. Its three and four year degrees are accredited by international recognized professional bodies. It has excellent IT facilities, with more than 300 work stations, and its 11-week classes offer a balance of lecture, example, laboratory, and practical experience. Swansea’s School of Engineering offers classes in the following disciplines:
- Aerospace Engineering
- Chemical and Biological Process Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic
- Information, Communication, and Computing Technologies (ICCT)
- Materials Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Engineering
- Product Design, Engineering, and Technology
Regents Semester in Scotland
The Faculty of Engineering at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow is home to more than 3000 students, making it the largest Engineering Faculty in Scotland. In addition, Strathclyde’s Engineering Faculty is considered one of the leading centers for research and education in the UK, being named one of the best places to study electrical, mechanical, or architectural engineering in all of Scotland. Within the faculty, there are several emphasis areas:
- Chemical and process engineering
- Civil engineering
- Design, manufacture, and engineering management
- Electronic and electrical engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Naval architecture and marine engineering
The University of Strathclyde is also home to the National Centre for Prosthetics and Orthotics.